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by Crave

Screen01b-01.jpg (5582 bytes)Sometimes reviewing Game Boy games is a lot like assembly line work. You punch in, work your shift, and go home pretty much the same as when you arrived. Your job consists of doing one thing over and over again. At the beginning, it might actually be kind of interesting screwing toothpaste lids onto the tubes. Initially there may actually be some sort of challenge in meeting your quotas. But soon enough you’ve mastered the technique and your only hope of escaping the monotony is by inducing a Zen like trance.

Playing MIB2 for the Game Boy Color is like playing the dozens of Game Boy games that have come before it. There is nothing new to gain from the experience; the most you can hope for is a mild diversion that doesn’t take too long to play through. MIB2 comes from the venerable (albeit repetitive) tradition of the side scrolling shooter. Konami perfected this genre with Contra in the mid-eighties, and no one’s been able to match it since. So, it begs the question—why bother making it in the first place? This isn’t to say the MIB2 is a bad game. It’s not. As far as side scrolling shooters are concerned, it’s actually pretty good. It has a variety of bad guys, fairly long levels, and a good selection of weapons.

Screen02b-01.jpg (3720 bytes)The graphics and level design on MIB2 are as good as most things on the GBC. The characters and levels are nicely detailed. You can choose to play as either Agent J or Agent K. The only difference between the two characters being skin tone. They’re the same height, with the same weapon, and the same monotonous objectives to meet. You have a variety of weapons to use throughout the game. It’s no Metal Gear Solid in the weapons department, but most players should be happy enough with what they have to choose from.

The levels are pretty similar to almost every side scrolling platform game out there. There’s a heavy Mario Bros. influence to some of the levels. Lots of elevators from which to jump on and off. Is it just me or have you noticed that no one ever seems to ask the question, "Why is there an elevator there? It serves no discernable use." It’s just assumed that the elevator exists so that it can be jumped upon. (You can see that I was a little bored by the game due to the fact that I was able to wax existential about elevator placement while playing.)

Screen03b-01.jpg (5488 bytes)The bosses themselves are entertaining enough to fight, and the variety of weapons found throughout the game will satisfy most players. The controls for this game are pretty solid too. I didn’t find anything wrong with how the game handled. The characters both jump high enough and far enough to avoid frustrating the gamer too much.

It’s really hard to find anything new to say about this game because I feel like I’ve played it (and written about it) a dozen times before. MIB2 adds nothing to a genre that was exhausted over a decade ago except for its franchise. If you want a new side scrolling shooter for your GBC, you won’t be disappointed by what the folks over at Crave have to offer. But if you’re looking for a new type of gaming experience, you won’t find it here.

Jason Frank


Ups: Good controls; lots of different weapons.

Downs: Too much like every other sidescroller out there.

System Reqs:
Game Boy Color


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